CCM Skipton BFL highlight one of the best on record Skipton Auction Mart’s 2021 Bluefaced Leicester show and sale produced one the best turnouts in terms of quality ever seen at this annual fixture, notably in the ram lamb section, which averaged £704. 27, a solid increase on the previous year’s £437, while shearling rams averaged £893, again well up on 2020’s average of £513. In total, 27 sheep sold at four-figure prices and there was virtually total clearance of the 117 head on offer, with just a single sheep unsold.

Four rams, all showing considerable promise, primarily as North of England Mule getters, sold for 2,000gns, three of which, among them the third prize shearling ram, came from John, Claire and Annabel Mason’s Oddacres flock in Embsay.

The first at this figure was by their M1 Macqueston tup, out of a home-bred ewe by a Redburn tup, which joined the Kitching family in Threshfield. Frank Kitching remains NEMSA’s Skipton branch chairman, while Claire Mason is secretary.

The other two Oddacres 2,000gns rams both headed to North Craven with Eldroth’s Johnny Cowperthwaite. One was also by the Macqueston, out of an Ilkley Moor ewe, the second by H3 Asby Hall, out of a Low Tipalt dam. The Mason family did notably well at the evening sale, selling ten shearling/aged rams to average £1,307.25, along with six ram lambs levelling at £717.50.

The fourth at 2,000gns was the last ram lamb in the ring from Ashley and Rachael Caton’s local Otterburn Lodge flock. By M4 Asby Hall, out of a 2-shear ewe by J1 Smearcett, which was itself out the famous old Jackie ewe, it took the eye of JR Addison & Son, of Bowes in Co Durham.

Dunsop Bridge brothers Edward and John Parkinson, of the Hareden flock, weighed in at 1,700gns with a K5 Hundith-sired shearling ram which came from an Ilkley Moor got ewe, selling to Anthony and Heather Hewetson in Giggleswick.

Next best at 1,600gns were Appletreewick’s WP&B Walker & Son, of the Low Fold flock, with a M12 Riddings ram lamb, their only section entry, selling locally to John and Rob Lancaster, of Bordley. The selling price was matched by the Wilson family in Blubberhouses with a F1 Harland “Bighead” son, out of a L39 Smearcett ewe, from which they have retained four full brothers. The 1,600gns ram lamb joined the team at Oddacres.

The mart opted for youth in their selection of show co-judges, Bob Hargreaves, 21, of Barley, and 18-year-old Megan Hallam, from High Birkwith. Their chosen champion was the first prize ram lamb from Wharfedale’s David Lodge, the first progeny to be sold by his N006 Old Hemley tup acquired last year as a lamb by the Otley breeder, who maintains a small flock of ten Bluefaced Leicester breeding ewes under his Whitbeck prefix. The title winner made 800gns when joining local father and daughter, Robert and Ellie Crisp, in Calton, who also bought last year’s supreme champion ram lamb.

The Grisedale flock of the Threshfield Kitchings, top price performers with a 1,500gns shearling ram sale last year, was itself among the prizes at the latest renewal when presenting the second placed ram lamb, an Otterburn Lodge N1 son away at 1,100gns when becoming a second acquisition by the Crisps, with the third prize winner, another from the Oddacres fold and by L3 Swathburn, making 900gns to Skipton’s Alistair Lawn.

The first prize shearling ram and overall reserve champion – their only entry - was consigned by the Stott Hill flock of Cowling’s Heather and Nick Bowker, who also maintain ten BFL breeding ewes, while Heather also breeds pedigree Swaledales with her father John Hopkinson. The embryo son of the Scottish-bred Midlock Mustang F27 sold for 1,200gns to Ryan Middleton, of Horton-in-Ribblesdale, the selling price matched by the second prize shearling ram from CM&J Stott’s Laund flock in Chipping, going to South Yorkshire with Sheffield’s NJ&S Taylor.

Aged rams sold to a top of 900gns twice, among them the red rosette winner in its show class, a 2-shear by Wythop Hall L1 from the Walker family at Brennand Farm, Dunsop Bridge, which also joined the Hewetsons. Making the same price was the third prize aged ram from the Bordley Lancasters, the 3-shear by Sealhouses J4 going to Rosemary Berry in Cowling.

The other at 900gns was consigned by Wharfedale father and son, Francis and James Caton, of Weston, Otley, the section averaging £651, again a major improvement on the previous year’s £372. Among a small turnout of females, Draughton’s Joe and Nancy Throup sold a brace to top at 400gns. Full results, leading prices and individual flock averages are at

There was also a charity element to the sale, when a ram donated by Stephen Hutchinson, of Kirkby Wiske, and a Border Fine Art Blue Faced Leicester donated by Ronnie and June Dowie, of Settle, were sold in aid of the UK Sepsis Trust again in memory of the late Hannah Brown. The former sold at 700gns to S Stoney, of Kirkby Malzeard, the latter at £450 to the Hope Valley’s Ben Simpson.